COLUMN: After the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the time has come for action — it's not too late for gun control


EmmaDaleMug

The first mass shooting I vividly remember was Aurora, Colorado in 2012. The gunman opened fire in a movie theater killing 12 people and wounding another 70.

I remember how shocked I was. I couldn’t believe someone could scheme and carry out such a horrendous act. Following this massacre, I was nervous every time I attended a movie and felt I had to be extra aware of my surroundings. I recall a few times seeing someone come into a movie late and my body instantly tensed up. Sad, right?

Now, in 2017, five years later—my fears have only worsened.

I can’t go to church, a music festival, school, a nightclub or even work without worrying about an active shooter waltzing in and creating the next “mass shooting in x place leaving x dead and x injured” headline.

The sad part -- this has become a normal occurrence in the U.S.

Hearing about the shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas last Sunday didn’t even phase me. I’m not being inconsiderate or insensitive, but I, like many others, have become desensitized to it. Rather than being shocked, I become instantly angry.

Why do we keep letting it happen?

Before Sunday, the most recent tragedy in Las Vegas left 58 dead and 546 injured, earning the title of the “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history”, which we’ve heard many times before. This sparked a call for change with proposing to ban Bump Stocks and one state, Massachusetts, became the first to ban them.

We’ve began to make progress.

But then it happened again.

Here we are, like a broken record spewing forth the same statements, calling for the same change. The same typical shooter profile and questions of “how did we miss the signs?” will appear on news networks but these arguments and speculations will never bring back the victims who’ve lost their lives.

Remember in 2016 after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, when Democrats filibustered on the Senate floor for 15 hours calling for gun regulation? Even after presenting pictures of young children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and pleading for change — no reform was put in place.

No matter your stance, whether it be pro-guns, pro-reform, pro-mental health initiatives, it is apparent to everyone that there is an issue with guns in the U.S. contining to fuel these mass tragedies.

I know I’m not a senator or a representative and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re not either. So what can we do?

Act.

We can all go express our opinions on Twitter and Facebook, but we all know that won’t accomplish anything.

Call your senators and representatives — their numbers are posted on senators.gov and house.gov. It takes only a few minutes to call and have someone write down your comments.

Join activist groups or campaigns. Participate in events or protests. Make your voice heard.

Write a letter to your representative in detail — demand a response. Schedule a meeting with them. Make sure they know how you feel and what you want done.

Start your own campaign, Facebook group or whatever it is to keep the conversation going. But don’t do nothing. Demand change in a time where giving up seems to be the only option.

I fear the next headline I see will be “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.”

Be a part of the change, take initiative and make history.

It’s not too late for gun control.

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About Emma Dale

Editor-in-Chief Emma Dale is a junior from Grand Haven double majoring in journalism and political ...

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